Brownlow Medal analysis and betting preview

Brownlow Medal betting preview infographic

Our comprehensive analysis and preview of the Brownlow Medal has unlocked some tips and predictions for the big night that will help you extract value from this year’s count.

The past three years, we have had unbackable favourites to win the Bronwlow Medal with Dangerfield, Martin and Mitchell being $1.20, $1.05 and $1.60 respectively. This year is different, in fact, it is the most wide open Brownlow in many years; the favourite for the 2019 Medal is Geelong midfielder Patrick Dangerfield at $2.75 with another previous winner Nat Fyfe at $7.00. They are closely followed by Lachie Neale, Marcus Bontempelli and Patrick Cripps who are all vying to take ‘Charlie’ home for the first time. Our analysis has once again unearthed some value picks from the various Brownlow markets to prepare you for the 2019 count.

The 2019 Brownlow Medal will take place at Melbourne’s Crown Palladium Ballroom on Monday 23rd September. The count will be televised from 8:30pm on Channel 7. The Brownlow Medal is steeped in history and past winners include several of the all time AFL greats.

Past 20 winners: their playing position, votes polled and their starting price

WinnerClubVotesPositionTeam finishedPrice
2018Tom MitchellHawthorn28Midfield9$1.60
2017Dustin MartinRichmond36Midfield1$1.05
2016Patrick DangerfieldGeelong35Midfield2$1.18
2015Nat FyfeFremantle31Midfield3$2.0
2014Matt PriddisWest Coast26Midfield9$21.0
2013Gary Ablett JrGold Coast28Midfield14$1.8
2012Jobe WatsonEssendon30Midfield11$5.0
2011Dane SwanCollingwood34Midfield1$16.0
2010Chris JuddCarlton30Midfield8$17.0
2009Gary Ablett JrGeelong30Midfield2$3.3
2008Adam CooneyWestern Bulldogs24Midfield3$13.0
2007Jimmy BartelGeelong29Midfield1$10.0
2006Adam GoodesSydney Swans26Ruck / Midfield4$2.7
2005Ben CousinsWest Coast20Midfield2$2.1
2004Chris JuddWest Coast30Midfield7$11.0
2003Nathan BuckleyCollingwood22Midfield2$2.5
2003Mark RicciutoAdelaide22Midfield6$4.5
2003Adam GoodesSydney Swans22Ruck / Midfield4$6.0
2002Simon BlackBrisbane Lions25Midfield2$3.5
2001Jason AkermanisBrisbane Lions23Midfield2$16.0
2000Shane WoewodinMelbourne24Midfield3$13.0
1999Shane CrawfordHawthorn28Midfield9$1.5
1998Robert HarveySt Kilda32Midfield6$11.0
1997Robert HarveySt Kilda26Midfield1$2.5
1996Michael VossBrisbane Lions21Midfield3$3.5
1996James HirdEssendon21Midfield6$5.0

Patterns of Brownlow winners: looking for an angle

Trying to predict the minds of the umpires that compile the 3, 2 and 1 Brownlow votes for each AFL match may seem like an impossible task, but we have identified some strong trends among the previous winners.

The ‘Midfielders Medal’

The Brownlow is now described by many pundits as the ‘Midfielders Medal’, and it’s easy to see why. In the past 23 years, the medal has only been won by midfielders, except for the two Brownlow’s that Swan great Adam Goodes won in 2003 and 2006. An important stipulation, Goodes was effectively an old-fashioned ruck rover, covering the ground and collecting possessions much in the mould of a midfielder. The only other notable winner in the past 20 years in terms of the position they played is Jason Akermanis. The charismatic Lion combined time in the forward half with extensive periods in the midfield. Look for midfielders to win the medal and to feature prominently in most team votes markets. If in doubt, back the midfielder.

Look for players that have polled well in the past

When looking for the winner of the medal, or the most team votes, look for players that have consistently polled well in prior years. Of the past 23 winners, only Shane Woewodin failed to consistently poll well in the years either side of his Brownlow victory. Adam Cooney is perhaps the only other player to not rack up votes year after year, however, his career was curtailed somewhat by injury; and when he was fit, he still polled relatively well. Cooney only polled 4 votes and 9 votes in the years prior to his victory, however, in a pointer to his eventual win, he polled 12 votes in the 2005 count as a 21 year old. Most winners poll at least 13 votes at some point early on in their career, or in the few years just prior to their Brownlow; an indicator that their style of play falls under the notice of the adjudicating field umpires.

Ladder position of winner’s team

Until more recently, there was a very strong trend of the winner’s team finishing inside the Top 8 and playing in the AFL finals. From 1996 to 2011, only one winner came from a team that finished the season outside of the top 8; Hawthorn finished 9th when Shane Crawford won in 1999. Perhaps even more significant, 11 of those winners played for teams that finished inside the top 3 ladder positions. Tom Mitchell won the 2018 Medal with Hawthorn finishing 9th, but Martin, Dangerfield and Fyfe before him, all played for teams that finished inside the top 4 positions. In summary, don’t be too perturbed if your selection played for a team that didn’t playoff in the finals, but be mindful that the trend of winners coming from teams that filled the top few positions on the ladder is still very strong. Cripps and Fyfe are two market favourites that play for teams that did not make the finals.

Polling record of 2017 Brownlow favourites

Dustin Martin252113165
Patrick Dangerfield3522212223
Tom Mitchell1212020
Josh Kelly6000DNP
Zach Merrett1910DNPDNP
Rory Sloane244101511
Matt Crouch700DNPDNP
Marcus Bontempelli20134DNPDNP
Lance Franklin17822512
Josh Kennedy (Syd)1425211419
Dayne Beams0916119
Gary Ablett65222824
Joel Selwood1813212714
Daniel Hannebery2124112112
Stephen Coniglio174201

Strategy for tackling the 2019 count

The Winners market

Unlike previous years, the 2019 Brownlow is wide open. Dangerfield is the favourite after finishing the season strongly. Fyfe was a $3,50 favourite before the final round and is now $7.00! Lachie Neale has had a great year at new club Brisbane who finished 3rd on the ladder. Bontempelli has been touted as a Brownlow winner for a few years after polling so well early in his career. Even someone like Cripps who won the AFL MVP award is a $13 chance. Outside of the top five favourites, perhaps there is value in Jack Macrae, Adam Treloar and Tim Kelly. Remember, the Brownlow still remains somewhat unpredictable even for the hottest of favourites. In fact, of the past 13 winners, 5 have been double figure odds just before the count. In that time, 7 favourites have gone on to win the medal.

That being said, there is no knock on Dangerfield’s Brownlow credentials. He has pedigree winning in 2016 and polling extremely well again in 2017. If you do really fancy the Geelong champ, the $2.75 odds are much better than for favourites in previous years.

winners market for the 2019 Brownlow Medal

Odds and analysis of the favourites

PlayerOutrightTop 5After Round 5Comment
Patrick Dangerfield2.701.074.00Not his best year, but undeniable vote getter.
Marcus Bontempelli5.751.339.00Started well, finished strongly. Enough in between?
Lachie Neale5.751.333.00Very consistent year, proven vote getter at previous club.
Nat Fyfe6.251.3334.00Previous winner. Favourite after 22 rounds.
Patrick Cripps13.001.953.25Polled the lights out last year in under-performing team.
Brodie Grundy15.002.426.00Last ruckman to win was Goodes and before that Scott Wynd.
Adam Treloar21.002.7521.00Consistent. team finished inside the top 4.
Tim Kelly34.002.7510.00A good roughie. Polled 13 votes in debut season.
Jack Macrae34.003.25151.00Outpolled Bontempelli last year to collect 14 votes.

Brownlow tips and selections

Winners market

Selection: Marcus Bontempelli at $6.00
You could make a case for any of the top chances. It is very difficult to separate the top chances. If we had to split hairs, Fyfe and Dangerfield both haven’t had their very best years. Neale is a genuine chance while Bontempelli is the player on the up who attracts votes.

Do not dismiss Brodie Grundy. He is in the mould of Adam Goodes and if someone is to break the midfield stranglehold on the Medal it may just be him. We also give outside chances to Adam Treloar and Tim Kelly.

Brownlow Top 5

Selection: Tim Kelly to finish top 5 at $2.75
Tim Kelly was our tip to win after Round 20. He didn’t finish off the year as strongly as his teammate Dangerfield. Polled remarkably well in debut season to collect 13 votes. Was even better this year and was the midfield leader for the first half of the season.

It’s also worth considering Kelly for the most votes after Round 5.

Brownlow team votes: West Coast Eagles

Selection: Andrew Gaff at $4.25
Gaff is a proven vote getter. Shuey and Yeo both had good years too but we’ll take a punt on Gaff at a much better price.

Brownlow team votes: Sydney Swans

Selections: Jake Lloyd at $34
If you’re looking for value on Brownlow night consider Jake Lloyd to poll the most votes for the Swans. There was no standout player at Sydney and their votes are likely to be well spread. Lloyd is tipped by a few pundits to vote well and managed to poll 6 votes last year in what was somewhat of a breakout season.

Leader after Round 5

Selections: Tim Kelly and Tom Rockliff
We are fond of this market as there is a little more certainty with just 5 rounds to analyse. Tim Kelly had a blazing start to the season along with Dangerfield, however Kelly is at the much better price of $10. Tom Rockliff is tipped to poll 8 votes in the first five matches and can be found at a remarkable $34 with Sportsbet!

Tell us who you think is good value to poll the most votes for your team!